Back in 2014 i was reviewing loads of shows during the Edinburgh Fringe and i got a message from a “seasoned reviewer” who i had never met or even heard of and the message i got was “you need to use proper reviewer etiquette when reviewing shows” obviously the reply was swift and straight to the point “i will write what i like thanks” and so i continue to do.
Back then i reviewed Torsten the Bareback Saint the story about a semi-immortal polysexual who stopped ageing but saw friends and lovers age and die over the years and i raved about how good it was so when i was informed the second part was in production i kept an eager eye out for details and as soon as venue and dates were released i started to put plans in place to see it.
The show is titled The Beautiful Libertine which stars one of my all time favourite singers Andy Bell and is very different from the first show as BareBack Saint was a twenty two song cycle with Andy singing and Christopher Frost playing instruments Beautiful Libertine is more of a play (or as i saw it part play part sitcom and in Andy’s words Black Comedy) and it is from the very wonderful creative mind of Barney Ashton Bullock and in this production Andy is joined by Lana Pilley as Lady Domina Bizarre and Peter Straker as Rupert and what follows is two hours of brilliant musical comedy theatre dark in places, funny in others and rioutous in some parts too.
Lady Domina and Rupert reminisce about their liasons with Torsten through stories and song and Torsten himself replies through song and recorded thoughts which fit very well together it’s almost as if we are present with Lady D and Rupert and Torsten is somehow a spirit not seen by the other charachters but Torsten can see and hear them, there are moments of laughter there are moments of sadness but overall there is greatness the greatness comes from the banter between Rupert and Lady P but also their and Andy Bell’s vocals the three compliment each others voices wonderfully and do the songs justice.
The songs and music are from the first two albums Bareback Saint and Beautiful Libertine and also some songs not released so far and the songs are the stories abiut the three lives of the charachters we are seeing on stage, the music has been created once again by the very talented Christopher Frost and as the first album/show had wonderful music the second certainly does not dissapoint (Loitering with Intent a firm favourite with me) and Mr Frost certainly catches the mood with the musical accompianment.
I don’t want to put too many spoilers in as i would advise as many people to see this show before it is titally sold out for the run at the Above the Stags Head Theatre 17 Miles Street Vauxhall London a lovely intimate theatre and a great venue for this production.
If i have one gripe it’s the guy who was sitting next to my wife constantly taking pictures on his phone and he didn’t have the decency to even close the shutter noise from it i would have loved to have told him to pack it in but im sure the stars on stage would have heard.
But all in all a great show with brilliant charachters and soundtrack and i’m gutted i could only get to London to see it one time so a personal plea to Barney how’s about a dvd sir?
Torsten the Beautiful Libertine gets a 5/5 from my wife Kerry and i .
I will be airing chats with Andy Bell and Lana Pillay on my show Saturday 12th March between 1 and 3pm on Black Diamond FM http://www.blackdiamondfm.com/listen or via the Tunein App